Holiday of Lights
December 21, 2010
As we drive around our neighborhoods during this time of year, we see beautiful lights adorning trees and houses in and around the city. Christmas is a holiday to celebrate with lights. Lights on the trees, displayed on our homes, and hung from the Christmas tree, which we so lovingly put in our houses to adorn with presents. But did you know that Christmas is not the only significant holiday that is celebrated this time of year with lights?
Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday often referred to as The Festival of Lights. It is celebrated for 8 days to remember a miracle. This miracle is symbolized by lighting the Menorah (a special candelabra). A candle is lit each day in honor of the holiday. It begins on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev. Since the Jewish calendar is Lunar based, the time of Hanukkah is slightly different every year. This year, it was celebrated from December 01-09. It is a time when the people remember their history and heritage through the lights of the Menorah among many other family traditions. The Word Hanukkah literally means dedication.
Kwanzaa is an African American holiday celebrating African heritage and culture. It is observed from December 26 to January 1 each year. Kwanzaa is celebrated with a Kinara (also a special candelabra), the seven principles of Kwanzaa, and ends with a feast and gift giving. Each day includes the lighting of a candle in the Kinara, as well as music and the observance of one of the seven Kwanzaa principles. It was first celebrated in 1966 as a means to help African Americans reconnect with their African cultural and historical heritage.
North Oak Branch